Study in Paradise: Australia’s Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast in Australia is a place where students will feel safe and happy from the moment they arrive.

If you ever find yourself flicking through a holiday brochure, you will undoubtedly find pictures of immaculate beaches, azure blue skies and holidaymakers relaxing on the sand, just taking in the beauty of it all. You might think, “This is definitely photoshopped, nowhere actually looks like that” or, “Well it is nice, but I could never afford to go to a place like that”.

I am sorry to say if you have thought these things, you would be wrong on both counts: places like this both exist and are affordable. All the better if you are looking to study as they can also offer astounding study, career and lifestyle opportunities and most importantly, a great environment to play and enjoy yourself!

But where? One such place is the Sunshine Coast, in Australia.

Located in the state of Queensland and just an hour north of the Brisbane metropolis, the Sunshine Coast is situated on 50 kilometres of coastline and is renowned for its beaches, hiking, surfing, fresh local food and world class events. From relaxation to adventure, Queensland’s naturally refreshing Sunshine Coast has it all.

There are perhaps four things that contribute to a successful study trip abroad. One is having an excellent place to study of course; a comfortable home in which to live; the chance to work and opportunities to develop a career; and the option to break free, explore, experience life and truly play.

With the help of Study Sunshine Coast, we are going to take a look at how you can achieve these four ideals for a study abroad trip in one of the most beautiful parts of the world: the aptly named Sunshine Coast.

What Is the Sunshine Coast?

Well let’s start with where it actually is. It is, as the name suggests, mostly coastline, about 50km of it, though it also includes some land further away from the Pacific, referred to as the hinterland.

The Sunshine Coast is on the southeast edge of Queensland, the north-eastern part of Australia (are you following?) Queensland’s most famous city (and its capital) is Brisbane. The Sunshine Coast is about 100km north of Brisbane, so it is easily accessible in under two hours, travelling by car.

Some of the larger towns and cities in the region include Caloundra, Kawana Waters, Maroochydore, Noosa, all on the coast, and Nambour and Maleny, located a little further inland.

In recent years the Sunshine Coast has become one of the fastest growing areas in Australia. An excellent place to stay for the culture and weather, but also a place of great opportunity as the economy continues to grow and develop.

But what about the education options for students seeking to study abroad?

Find out everything you need to know to study, live, work and play on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. Download our FREE guide and get started today!


The Sunshine Coast is home to a wide range of study options, including a number of Queensland’s highest performing schools. The Coast boasts over 70 private, Catholic and government schools, as well as top-ranking universities including the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) and CQUniversity (CQU) as well as a huge range of training and vocational organisations, including the three TAFE Queensland campuses.

Sometimes finding the right course can be a tricky process, but with so many outstanding study options, you are unlikely to have to look for long in this part of the world. There are options here from primary and high schools, through to vocational education and training providers, to universities and English language schools.

Short-term study tours are also available for students who wish to explore the Sunshine Coast for a brief period, yet still benefit from the excellent education on offer, while dabbling in some cultural exchange at the same time. A range of study tour options are available, so contact Study Sunshine Coast to discuss your study tour requirements.

USC is one the world’s top 150 young universities and at just over 20 years of age has already established itself on the world stage. USC’s reputation for research excellence is growing each year and the latest ‘Excellence in Research Australia’ rankings rated 14 USC research fields at or above world standard.

USC’s flagship campus is located in the heart of the Sunshine Coast and includes some of the most advanced learning and visualisation facilities in Australia, including immersive education environments, interactive learning technology and hands-on simulation labs.

The CQU campus at Noosa offers modern facilities and state of the art collaborative learning spaces. The university has recently invested $2.5 million into the expansion of the campus. CQUniversity is ranked among the world’s top universities by the international QS World Universities ranking system. In 2016, CQUniversity was also officially recognised as Australia’s only Changemaker Campus by global social innovation group Ashoka U.

The Sunshine Coast is a great supporter of international students, both for those who wish to study and improve their English as well as those that would like to learn a new trade or occupational skill. Generally, of course, your English will improve while studying here in Australia, as will your employment skills, as a consequence of the successful completion of your course or degree.

If you are looking to improve your English in particular though, Lexis English is an award-winning language school with two campuses within the region, in Noosa and Maroochydore. It is an ELICOS Provider, the Australian term for those that provide intensive English language courses for overseas students.


As mentioned previously, with the economy and job market continuing to grow so sharply in the area, the Sunshine Coast is not only a great place to study, but it’s also a great place to work and kick-start your career.

Whether you are looking for a casual job to get you through your studies or a permanent career to put your skills into practice, Australia’s Sunshine Coast delivers outstanding career pathways and choices for all.

The Sunshine Coast is supported by a vibrant and growing tourism industry offering a wide range of part-time employment opportunities in hotels, resorts, cafes and bars. These roles are perfectly suited for students, especially those who don’t plan on spending years living in the area.

For those looking for career experience, the progressive local government is developing an increasing number of opportunities. Major infrastructure projects are underway to position the Sunshine Coast as a centre for high value, high paying employment in health and educational services, professional services, innovation and research and international tourism.


Studying abroad can be a daunting process. There is a lot to organise, which can be particularly challenging to do when travelling to study. Study Sunshine Coast is here to assist and can provide support and answer any questions you have about studying on the Sunshine Coast. If you are considering studying on the Sunshine Coast (and why shouldn’t you) then it is comforting to know that the Sunshine Coast offers a vast range of accommodation options to suit individual student needs, wants and budgets.

Types of accommodation available for students studying on the Sunshine Coast include: staying on campus, private rentals, flat sharing, homestay opportunities and group accommodation. Accommodation is conveniently located near education facilities, transport, shopping centres and health providers.

On Campus

Living on campus can be a great experience allowing you to network and make new friends. It can also be a more affordable way to live, with most amenities and features included in the rent.


With homestay, students stay with a host family on the Sunshine Coast for the duration of their study or even beyond. This can be a great way to get to know the locals and experience the culture first-hand and this option can often be a little bit cheaper too.


A range of rental accommodation options are available for students on the Sunshine Coast including houses, apartments, townhouses, villas or units, which can be shared with fellow students.


Although the primary focus of any student will be the course, the work and the living arrangements, there is no doubt that a blissful location can often be the deciding factor in choosing a particular place to study.

The culture to immerse yourself in, the experiences to be had and the places to explore can make a world of difference and luckily, the Sunshine Coast is replete with each. From climbing mountains to catching a wave at some of Australia’s most awe-inspiring beaches, feeding kangaroos or cuddling a koala at Australia Zoo, the Sunshine Coast offers students a range of natural attractions and outdoor adventure activities. Ancient volcanic peaks, rainforests, waterfalls and pristine waterways – the natural beauty will take your breath away.

The region includes over 50 kilometres of soft sandy beaches, from the majestic Glass House Mountains to Noosa and the coloured sands of Rainbow Beach, surrounded by the quiet beauty of coastal and hinterland villages. The Sunshine Coast’s beaches are quite simply, some of the best in the world.

If you ever get bored of the beach (can one ever?) there is lush rainforest and plenty of friendly people to connect with and while away the time. If there’s one place you’ll feel like a local, it’s here. The community is safe, pleasant, inclusive and despite Australia’s size, it is easily accessible, with a local airport and an easy journey to one of Australia’s largest cities, Brisbane.

Okay, so there’s natural beauty throughout the Sunshine Coast: that much is undeniable. If your tastes tend a little more toward sights and adventure, then the Coast can provide that equally as well.

One of the most prominent sights of the Sunshine Coast is Mount Coolum National Park, whose mountainous trails are easily accessible and able to be climbed. The rewards if you do so are immense: the views are truly unmissable.

Maintaining the exploration theme, Kondalilla National Park is a refuge for many native animals and plants, as well as a setting for magnificent waterfalls, rock pools and freshwater creeks.

Or if you’d prefer to animal-watch in a more laidback setting, Australia Zoo is the place for you. Take a selfie with a kangaroo, have a cuddle with the furry koalas, go on an African safari and watch the croc show!

To eat delicious cuisine and hear the sounds of the ocean all at once is a true Sunshine Coast experience. You will find a range of multicultural cuisine along the strip of Mooloolaba Beach. Also make sure not to miss out on Ocean Street, a vibrant food and wine precinct with some of the best cafes, restaurants and bars on the coast.

The Sunshine Coast is home to a range of exhilarating sporting, cultural, music and food events including the famous Noosa Triathlon Multisport Festival and Ironman 70.3 events, Woodford Folk Festival, Big Pineapple Music Festival, Caloundra Music Festival and Noosa International Food and Wine Festival.

With a high performing economy, an exciting range of study and career opportunities, cultural experiences, 300 days of sunshine every year, an enviable lifestyle, endless coastline and easy smiles, the Sunshine Coast is a place where students will feel safe and happy from the moment they arrive.

Visit Study Sunshine Coast for help and advice on how to find yourself studying in this paradise on Earth.